Capital Market

Iron ore price hits more than 2-week low on rising inventory

Iron ore price hits more than 2-week low on rising inventory
Iron ore futures fell to their lowest in more than two weeks, pressured by an inventory accumulation at Chinese ports and caution about demand outlook, but property support measures in China lent some support.

The most-traded September iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE) fell as much as 1.6% to 857 yuan ($118.62) a metric ton, the lowest since April 24, earlier in the session. It declined 0.7% on a weekly basis.

The contract, however, rebounded to close 0.3% higher at 873.50 yuan.

Seasonal constraints in major iron ore suppliers have eased and China’s iron ore port inventory accumulation level has topped previous years, Huatai Futures analysts said in a report.

“Affected by the recent shock and decline of iron ore futures, steel mills have low acceptance of high-priced resources and maintain rigid demand purchases,” they added.

DCE iron ore dropped 20% in the first quarter of this year, the biggest decline since the third quarter of 2021. But prices have rebounded 16% so far in the second quarter.

Citi analysts expected that the property downturn in China will remain a major drag on iron ore demand.

“We think policy support will focus on risk prevention rather than a turnaround in the sector,” they said in a note.

Meanwhile, prices were cushioned by Chinese major cities Hangzhou and Xian on Thursday lifting all home purchase restrictions to shore up their sagging real estate markets.

Analysts and market participants interviewed by Reuters this week expected China’s iron ore imports to climb to an all-time high this year, helped by resilient domestic demand and shipments from India and Ukraine.

The benchmark June iron ore contract on the Singapore Exchange rose 0.3% to $116 a ton as of 0749 GMT.

Other steel-making ingredients on the DCE fell, with coking coal down 1% at 1,753.50 yuan a ton, and coke falling 1.5% to 2,269 yuan.

Steel benchmarks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) were mixed.

SHFE rebar slid 0.3% to 3,662 yuan a ton, hot-rolled coil eased 0.1% to 3,806 yuan, wire rod shed 0.9% to 3,849 yuan, while stainless steel gained 0.9% to 14,290 yuan.

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